First Silverlight Ad Campaign - Mass Effect 2


posted 2/16/2010 by Tina Amini
other articles by Tina Amini
One Page Platforms: 360 PC
With the arrival of the Internet, advertisement campaigns shifted drastically. With the arrival of popularized social networks like Facebook, advertisement campaigns shifted violently. So what technologies are the ad agencies looking towards to modify their campaigns to suit the style of the Internet? Well, one example would be Microsoft’s fairly new development of Silverlight, a browser plug-in designed to showcase high quality and interactive advertisements.

The first brand to take advantage of the Smooth Streaming and Deep Zoom that Silverlight boasts is EA with their newly released RPG-shooter hybrid, Mass Effect 2. Media agency Metia worked with EA and Ad Dynamo to develop Silverlight banners implemented on the games section of MSN Tech and Gadgets, and soon to move to the MSN homepage (Jan. 30th).

We received these relevant facts on research about online display advertising:

• The number of people online who click display ads has dropped 50% in less than two years, and only 8% of internet users account for 85% of all clicks, according to ComScore and reported in AdAge (October 2009)

• Also from ComSocore: ComScore has conducted more than 200 client studies demonstrating that online display ads generate significant lift in brand site visitation, trademark search, and both online and offline sales among those Internet users who were exposed to the online ad campaigns – whether they clicked on the ad or not. October 2009

• Coca-Cola and Unilever are shifting their digital focus away from traditional campaign sites and towards community platforms, such as Facebook and YouTube, as social media begins to dictate their marketing activity in 2010. Reported in New Media Age (UK)

Metia explains that Silverlight will be able to help with the dwindling numbers. I, probably – and evidently – like many Internet users, generally avoid any and all ad banners on websites. Metia is hoping, however, that the graphic content will appeal to more users with its high-powered content like HD videos.

Although getting the click is the ultimate challenge, at the very least they expect that the richer content will serve well for the perception of the brand that is advertised. The campaign micro-sites are meant to be an all-in-one complete service, including HD video, HD images and screen grabs, and interactive games. To get everything out of the HD experience, users can zoom up to 30 times into an HD image, and are promised no lags or excessive load times with the HD videos.

The CEO at Metia, Steve Ellis, reflected on the creative opportunities this would open up: “Offering Silverlight to advertisers and agencies through Ad Dynamo is significant. Silverlight gives creatives and developers a variety of features and capabilities that cannot be achieved using any other rich Internet application.”

CEO at Ad Dynamo, Sean Riley, is optimistic about the efforts with Silverlight: “Metia has deep Silverlight expertise, working with them and Microsoft Advertising to develop this capability was the ideal collaboration. In the coming weeks and months I’m looking forward to talking to our advertiser and agency customers and showing them what is possible. Contrary to popular belief there is more than one option in the ad serving market.”

We at Gaming Nexus had a chance to interview Andrew Martin – Vice President at Metia – to get some further insight into the development of Silverlight banner advertisements, including those featuring EA’s Mass Effect 2.

What sort of creative innovation are you expecting from this new ad service?

Our view is that this development will see banner/display ads move from being a traditional billboard to being highly interactive useful, interesting and relevant. As we say above, the banner becomes the micro-site. One example is a recent campaign from Honda, which encouraged customers to 'start' the car by texting to an SMS shortcode and also downloading information through Bluetooth.

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